Volunteers in Santa Rosa assemble 100 sheds to help residents rebuild after October wildfires
Erica Rinkor didn’t expect Saturday to be an emotional day.
But Rinkor couldn’t help but cry while standing with her three young children among hundreds of volunteers who came to Piner High School to construct tool sheds for families like hers who lost their homes in the October wildfires.
Rinkor’s Coffey Park home is in the process of being rebuilt. She expects the framing will happen next week and construction will be finished by Christmas. The shed, which is intended to store construction materials, is a simple gesture, but one that carries great weight.
“It’s about security and the hope of what’s coming,” Rinkor said. “It’s also completely overwhelming and brings so much hope to see so many people come (build a shed) for somebody they don’t even know.”
About 600 people from throughout the Bay Area and beyond participated in the daylong event at Piner High School, where they completed and delivered 100 storage structures for Sonoma County fire survivors who didn’t have insurance that covered sheds.
Organized by Indiana-based Hope Crisis Response Network, which has helped Lake County rebuild after the 2015 Valley fire, the shed construction was sponsored by the North Bay Fire Relief fund — spearheaded by the Redwood Credit Union, The Press Democrat and state Sen. Mike McGuire’s office — and several other organizations.
The sheds are meant to provide some security for homeowners as they go through the rebuilding process, said Valerie Cox, community outreach specialist for the crisis response network.
“For many of our homeowners, it’s the first thing on their property,” Cox said.
Many volunteers were North Bay residents, but others traveled hours from places such as the South Bay and Redding.
“This really is a reflection of the whole community,” Adam Peacocke, leader of sponsor Sonoma County Churches United Relief, told volunteers. “It’s just incredible.”
Building so many sheds at once proved to be a noisy experience.
“But it’s a good noise,” Cox said. “It sounds like rebuilding.”
You can reach Staff Writer J.D. Morris at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @thejdmorris.